Hornets Acquire Bayless for Conditional 1st round pick

Published: October 23, 2010

For those of you afraid that Marcus Thornton might be on his way out, you might have even more reason to worry. The Hornets have acquired a Thornton clone of sorts in third year guard Jerryd Bayless. Like Thornton, Bayless is an undersized shooting guard who can also play a little point guard and can light it up in bunches. Unlike Thornton, Bayless has a relationship with Monty Williams.

Bayless averaged 8.5 PPG in slightly less than 18 minutes per game last season, with vastly lower FG and 3PT percentages than Thornton put up last year. There is a slight possibility that Bayless can come in and be the backup point guard, however it is hard to imagine a second unit consisting of Peja, MT5, and Bayless because none of those guys will be accused of being a distributor.

Bayless’s contract is decent- 2.3 million this year with team options for the next two years. Many will argue that although he never had a season like Thornton had last year, the truth is that he was never really given an opportunity with the Blazers. When he was given minutes, he scored at a remarkably high rate, but he also fouled at a remarkably high rate. And for a guy with his quickness and skill set, he was horrible when it came to making plays for his teammates and stealing the ball. If you do want to consider him a point guard, know this: he finished 63rd out of 71 players in pure point rating.

For Bayless, the Hornets gave up a protected first round pick that will likely be next year’s pick- as long as the Hornets don’t finish with a top 7 pick. Bayless was the 11th pick in the 2008 draft, and even though he is going into his 3rd season, he is only 22 (14 months younger than MT5) and he still has plenty of upside. You get the feeling that either he or Thornton will be the long term spark plug off the bench for this squad, but it is hard to imagine both co-existing short term or long term.

But again, we are getting too far ahead of ourselves- first let’s see how this plays out. Maybe he and Marcus can co-exist even though it does not look like a good fit on paper. Or maybe the Hornets have a trade all lined up where they can move Marcus for a big man or as a part of a larger deal. For now, we’ll just have to wait.


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